In the spirit of the fall season, I want to share a story of letting go.
Perhaps it was being the oldest child, or just a coping technique I learned as a young child, but I’ve spent most of my life feeling responsible for everyone else, putting their needs first, trying to make others happy and making choices that I thought would make me accepted and worthy of love from those I cared about most.
The truth is all of that time, energy, and worry that I spent focused on others just created an endless cycle of exhaustion and stress.
I was miserable and anxious all the time. I barely slept. I would often start working at 5 am and would stay in the office until well past my family’s dinner time. I had an endless to-do list but never felt that I was doing enough for work or my family.
At home, I was always thinking about my job, and at work, I felt deeply guilty for not being the wife and mother I had dreamed of being. I lost my temper quickly with my son, and I neglected my relationship with my husband.
I felt a constant pull from others to give everything I had and I did exactly that. I only had meager leftovers of energy to give to my family and NOTHING left for myself.
Honestly, I couldn’t even imagine how I could do things differently. I thought being responsible for myself rather than others was selfish and uncaring. I didn't even know how I could begin to identify my own needs and desires.
Perhaps you can relate to my story? You realize you feel lost in your own life, you know you want to take care of yourself, but you just do not know where to start.
Working with my amazing coach, Diane, I was able to unwind and release my innate need to please others and be responsible for everyone else. I found the courage to explore my own needs, hopes, and desires, identify my core values, and align my actions to my goals.
Letting go of this obligation has created space for a whole new way to live my life. I am no longer weighed down by this self-imposed burden. I can grow in ways I never thought possible.
As I engaged with the coaching process, I discovered that the more I honored myself, the more energy and true support I was able to offer others and from a place of compassion and generosity rather than from a place of misplaced responsibility and obligation to please others.
I’ve come so far from my people-pleasing ways.
Now, I listen to my body and my inner wisdom and choose how I spend my time and energy. I feel freedom, joy, ease, and love with my family, my career, my friends, and my community.
When I start falling into old patterns of stress and overwhelm, I can pause and make an intentional choice about how I want to proceed. I have given my heart a voice and trust that voice to be my guide.